Data from SME South Africa’s 2018 report shows 33% of small to medium sized businesses are refused funding by large financial institutions. The struggle to gain finance and the high cost of professional service accounting often restrict SME growth. With collaborations between cloud accounting companies and digital lenders, this is set to change. SMEs now have the power to operate with the efficiency and professionalism of big business.
“Local fintech lenders have adapted existing financial services to better cater for small businesses, lowering barriers to access and giving them the capital that they need to grow,” says Daniel Goldberg, co-founder of Bridgement, a digital lender which offers near-instant invoice financing and credit facilities to SMEs.
“Banks are reluctant to offer small business loans, because the costs involved in offering them don’t scale with the size of the loan. Larger businesses that take out bigger loans naturally end up being prioritised – they’re more profitable for the bank,” says Goldberg.
Underwriting models used by banks are manually intensive and costly, making them unsuitable to small businesses – who often have limited information available, and no assets to put up as collateral.
Working with the likes of Xero, Sage and Quickbooks, to streamline approval processes, Bridgement gathers relevant financial data and trading history to assess business performance for application approval. “Our technology uses smart automation and data science to underwrite SMEs through their accounting software,” says Goldberg.
To counter traditional banks and lenders who penalise business owners for early settlement of their loans, Bridgement offers flexible repayment terms; “We reward borrowers for paying ahead of schedule,” says Goldberg. “When a borrower repays a loan early, this is good behaviour – good behaviour should be rewarded, not penalised.”
Offering facilities to SMEs with transparent and upfront pricing, with little to no paperwork, Bridgement’s platform allows SMEs to access capital quickly. “We help businesses manage cash flow and in turn, weather uneven monthly or seasonal changes in income. Banks don’t have the same level of flexibility.”
A member of the South African SME Finance Association (SASFA), Bridgement offers invoice financing and revolving credit facilities, from R10 000 to R1-million, to registered companies who have been trading for longer than six months. SMEs can apply in under two minutes on their website – www.bridgement.com.
Distributed by Be-cause Integrated Communications
021 447 1082 / 074 470 5996
On behalf of:
Daniel Goldberg – CEO of Bridgement